Googles Secret Guidelines On Thin Affiliates

Journalist Henk van Ess has caused a flurry of excitement on blogs and forums. In his blog he revealed that Google uses teams of humans all over the world to evaluate the accuracy of Google's search results.

These "international agents", who are paid $10 to $20 an hour, were recruited mainly through universities. They're paid to check search results at Google every day.

Don't be distracted by the debate over whether Google should be doing this.

Of course it should. It's just a form of quality control.

Google can use the evaluators' findings to tweak its algorithms and reduce search engine spam.

Spam Recognition Guide

What affiliates need to pay careful attention to is Google's "Spam Recognition Guide for Raters", which Henk revealed.

If you're a "thin affiliate," beware.

Although the report is a year old, about 80% of its contents are still being used by Google's evaluators, Henk says.

The confidential document gives us an unvarnished look at Google's attitude to affiliates.

If you're using any of the "manipulative techniques" Google describes, this report will probably encourage you to take a hard look at your website.

I hope you're not silly enough to be using hidden links or hidden text. Not surprisingly, Google teaches its "raters" how to detect them.

PPC revenue earners under fire

Are you creating pages without much content with the aim of collecting pay-per-click (PPC) revenue? Google's raters are taught to mark such pages as "Offensive", and gives examples.

Google secret guidelines spend some time discussing different ways in which some affiliates display results from pay-per-click search engines, so if you're doing that, you'll definitely want to study this report carefully.

Are you displaying ads disguised as search engine results? Google finds them offensive.

Are you adding a dmoz.org feed to your site with the aim of earning PPC revenue? That's "offensive", too.

Google says:

"We differentiate between affiliates that produce extra service, value, or content, and those that simply are duplicates of other sites, set up to boost traffic to other sites and earn a commission for it. The former ones are not Offensive and should be rated on the merits to the query. The latter ones are Offensive...

"Thin affiliate doorways are sites that usher people to a number of Affiliate programs, earning a commission for doing so, while providing little or no value-added content or service to the user. A site certainly has the right to try to earn income;

we're attempting to identify sites that do nothing but act as a commission-earning middleman."

Affiliate networks seen as warning signs

To Google, affiliate links such as qksrv.net, bfast.com and myaffiliateprogram.com - on the page or in redirects - "strongly suggest" that the site is a thin affiliate.

Are you using an affiliate datafeed? To Google, that's another warning sign.

However, if you offer a comparison of prices between different online merchants, you're OK, you're not a thin affiliate.

Google provides an incredibly tough guideline, which hundreds of thousands of affiliate sites fail to meet.

Google says:

"Do not call a page affiliate spam when an affiliation is only incidental to the message and purpose of a website. To determine whether participation in affiliate programs is central or incidental to the site's existence, ask yourself this question: Would this site remain a coherent whole if the pages leading to the affiliate (merchant) were taken away?"

That probably counts out most affiliate sites.

In summary, if you want to be friends with Google, make sure you provide extra value or content.

I've quoted only parts of the report. Any serious affiliate will want to study the whole thing carefully.

You can read the full report on Henk's blog here...

http://www.searchbistro.com/spamguide.doc

Note: A Google employee broke a non-disclosure agreement by revealing this report. I don't know how long it will stay online. You may want to do what I did - save a copy of it on your hard drive.

Now we know what Google really thinks of affiliates. You've been warned.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Allan Gardyne has been earning a very good living from affiliate programs since 1998. Learn from an affiliate veteran. Get his FREE newsletter... http://www.AssociatePrograms.com

In The News:


pen paper and inkwell


cat break through


Super Affiliate Strategies Part 2

If you are an affiliate that is trying to promote... Read More

One Little-Known Secret to Wealth the Gurus Never Told You About!

When I started my internet marketing career, I knew that... Read More

Why Top-earning Affiliates Have Their Own Domains And Websites

Many affiliate programs usually provide special web pages for their... Read More

Expanding Your Business With Affiliate Programs

Many people think that they can only get involved in... Read More

The Google Adsense-Adwords Automatic Money Machine

Have you ever tried to make money through affiliate programs... Read More

8 Reasons Why Affiliate Marketing is the Better Option

Many people are confused when they first become iterested in... Read More

Make Money Online With Affiliate Programs

If you have wanted to find a way to make... Read More

Internet Tip of the Week: Reality Check

Every time you turn around it seems you see another... Read More

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing an Affiliate Program

When people decide to join an affiliate program to make... Read More

5 Magical Steps For Creating A Profitably Potent Affiliate Program!

There are a few reasons why your affiliate program isn't... Read More

Top 7 Affiliate Marketing Tips for Newbies

When a newbie begins an online business, the temptation can... Read More

Understanding The Three Basic Types of Affiliate Programs

With all the companies on the internet that offer affiliate... Read More

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing refers to the promotion of products or services... Read More

You Deserve a Check Today

Perhaps the fastest and easiest way to prosper online is... Read More

Five Common Mistakes Affiliate Marketers Make

Affiliate Marketing is one of the most effective and powerful... Read More

The 5 Sure-Fire Ways of Building Massive Traffic and Making Thousands in Affiliate Sales

Why are those top affiliates able to easily make so... Read More

Make Sure Affiliate Programs Pay for every Sale

When joining affiliate programs there are many decisions you have... Read More

Guaranteed Signups - Scams or FastTrack Growth?

One thing that seems to be cropping up in many... Read More

Free Keyword Research Tools Are Not As Effective as Wordtracker

One of the most unanswered questions online today is, how... Read More

Affiliate Marketing: An Online Marketing Strategy

Everybody it seems can make money online. The simplest way... Read More

5 Ways to Start And Promote Your Affiliate Program

"What's the Buzz About?""I made $5,000 in one week""I quit... Read More

Affiliate Product Landing Pages - Three Tactics That Sell

As competition within the online affiliate sales arena rises to... Read More

Three Critical Affiliate Marketing Tips For Higher Commissions!

Affiliate marketing is quickly becoming a very specialized form of... Read More

Affiliate Marketing Tips

If there really is a big secret at all, it... Read More

Affiliate Marketing Or Market Your Own Products?

How should you organize your online business?Affiliate marketing seems to... Read More

Cant Find Any ClickBank Super Affiliates? Grow Your Own!

Affiliate marketing has become extremely popular, and ClickBank offers a... Read More

Affiliate Programs... Whos Really Making The Money?

There will be a million and one affiliates out there... Read More

A Unique Opportunity For Affiliate Recruiters

If you're a webmaster, web publisher, or web merchant, chances... Read More

Things To Test On Your Website To Increase Sales

The Internet is powerful selling tool. Never before has been... Read More

WEBMASTERS - Earn Money With Affiliate Links

If you have a website with some traffic, you can... Read More

Choosing the Right Affiliate Program

Requesting information on an affiliate program is an open invitation... Read More

Free Affiliate Marketing Page Pays $755 in Commissions From its First 100 Visitors

Affiliate marketing is an easy way to get started making... Read More

Affiliate Assets -- Discover the 3 Secrets That Will Turn Your Affiliate Link Into a Business

Your affiliate marketing business is just that ? a business.... Read More